Break out of the Barcelona mould and make it your mission to seek out these not so far-flung Catalonian delights.
Referred to as the ‘St Tropez of Spain’ or ‘Barcelona-on-sea’, Sitges boasts an impressive seventeen sandy beaches, many of which, including Platja de St. Sebastian, are a must see. Seaside aside, Sitges is also renowned for its film festival in October and the annual carnival which takes place in February.
A former fishing village, Sitges today boasts a chilled ambiance, and is recognised as one of the most charming towns on the Catalan coast, owing much of this reputation to its wonderful winding roads and cultural, artistic vibe.
Sant Miquel del Fai
24 miles north-west of Barcelona, the beautifully serene nature reserve of Sant Miquel del Fai is one of the most breath-taking landscapes available in Catalonia. It is also a genuine hidden gem which receives very few tourists.
A hike up the mountain will take you past the awe-inspiring 100 metre high waterfalls, and the many rock caves are ripe for exploration. Near the top, the inordinately picturesque Sant Miquel del Fai Monastery awaits.
Sant Sadurni d'Anoia
As home to Codorniu, the world’s largest producer of bottle-fermented cava, it is no surprise that this town receives a number of visitors wishing to sample its homegrown tipple.
In a region surrounded by vineyards, selecting a good bottle to take home may be a little tricky, but just 15 minutes south of Sant Sadurni, you will arrive at Vilafranca del Penedès, where you’re guaranteed to walk away with a decent drop of the finest fizz…or two.
Once one of the most important Roman cities outside of Rome itself, Tarragona boasts some of the most well-preserved ruins that remain of the Empire in all of Western Europe. It goes without saying that the amphitheatre (now a UNESCO World Heritage site) is the star attraction here, despite no longer playing host to the baying 14,000 capacity crowds it once did.
Now a successful trade town, with a large port and busy university, Tarragona has not forgotten how to play to the people. It hosts the Santa Tecla Festival each year, where the infamous human towers, a lasting symbol of entertainment in Catalonia, can be witnessed.
1 hour 5 minutes
Delta de l’Ebre Nature Reserve
With stunning wetland scenery, and approximately 300 different types of species of wild bird, this nature reserve remains one of the biggest in the Mediterranean region.
A visit to the onsite eco-museum will add a little education to your trip, while a drive through the rice fields will have you wishing for a longer stay. Do not knock bird watching until you’ve tried it here.
2 hours 20 minutes